Settle into your new life in Australia as an international student with our checklist of what to do when you arrive.
Register your Australian address
As part of your student visa requirements, you are required to register your address with your education provider within seven days of arriving in Australia. If you move, you must update your education provider with your new address.
Overseas students' health insurance
You are required to have medical insurance prior to your arrival into Australia. If you did not receive your overseas students' health coverage information, contact your school. You should receive a package with your medical insurance identification number, and information about your insurance and medical coverage entitlements.
Apply for a bank account
To apply for a bank account you will need to bring your passport and your tax reference number (if you intend to work), and proof of your Australian address to your preferred bank. Many Australian banks waive administrative fees for students, so bring your student card.
Travel concessions card
All Australian states provide travel concessions for international students except for New South Wales and Victoria. Your education providers are in charge of administering these travel concession benefits.
Get a mobile plan
Australia runs on a 3G mobile network. If you are holding onto a 2G mobile phone, you can expect to pay more per call and per short text message (SMS). The mobile services providers in Australia are 3, Optus, Telstra, TPG, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. Tri-band phones (commonly used in the United States and Canada) do not work in Australia.
When choosing a mobile plan, consider which providers offer the best coverage for your area and who you will call most often, as calls within the same network are often cheaper. Mobile plans can either be post-paid, which means signing up to a contract, or pre-paid, which allows you to top up on a month-by-month basis. For more advice and to compare plans, go to www.CompareMobilePlans.com.au.
Get an internet account
The main broadband service providers in Australia are Bigpond (Telstra), Exetel, iiNet, Optus, Dodo, iPrimus, Netspace, TPG and Westnet. Other mobile phone service providers, such as 3, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone also offer mobile broadband services on the go.
To find out which internet or broadband service providers work best for you and your budget, you can check with a free comparison website such as www.CompareBroadband.com.au.
Create a library account
Registering for a library account allows access to books and journals you’re your institution does not hold but also provides other benefits, such as free internet access and free events organised by the library.
Apply for a Tax File Reference number
If you intend to work during your time in Australia, you will need a tax file reference number. You can apply for your tax reference number via the Australian Taxation Office's website. International students are only allowed to work 20 hours per week during school terms and unlimited hours during official term breaks.
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